Impressions of Jan's Irish Solo Tour 2002



30 years waiting - but it was worth it!
Jan played in Dublin and Roscommon during the week and it was mindblowing. On Tuesday he played in Whelans in Dublin city centre; a small clubby type venue. It was packed and the atmosphere was electric. I never saw a bar sell so little beer - as soon as Jan came on, everyone was spellbound. His playing was incredible, a really raunchy style and the audience loved it. I was amazed at the number of younger people there - a new generation coming up with Jan's music!
The next night in Roscommon, the venue was colder, more sterile. But Jan sensed this and adapted his playing; he was more mellow and relaxed and, again, the audience responded. Highlights included a beautiful and lengthy version of Firenze and - for all old Focus heads - the first acoustic version of Sylvia (which even Jan admitted was one of the most difficult pieces he has tried!). Afterwards, a few words with the Man, relaxed and gracious.
Don't stay away for so long again and keep on making that music. Fantastic!
Jim McDonnell

Just got back from Ireland and just wanted to post this message of thanks to LLOYD CLARK for organising Jan's first (and I suspect not his last) Irish tour. Lloyd worked his socks off to make everything come together and his diligence payed off. The whole week was tremendous and everyone had a great time. Thanks Lloyd. You did it!!!
Also, hello to everyone who was there, it was great to meet you all. We must all get together again soon.
And finally, a word to Mr A... thanks for making each of the four gigs so completely different! How do you do it? Thanks also for the other musical treats along the way.
Leigh Woolford

I was priveliged to see Jan three out of four of his Irish dates, all of them made possible by the utter commitment and sheer hard work of Lloyd Clark the guy who brought Jan to Ireland, well done Lloyd and much appreciated.
The shows themselves were just awesome and getting to meet Jan and the gang afterwards was a great buzz, hello to you all!
For me Ards was the best show with Jan in a really happy looking mood not even taking a break as he played overtime and threw in all sorts of his musical styles including some old treats weaved effortlessly into the set, brought my 13 year old son to witness this show and he was (and still is) on cloud 9 thanks to Jan and everyone who made him feel so welcome both before and after the show.
Can't wait till the next time, maybe will get to the UK. for one or two shows, with Jan playing with a full band, who knows! One thing for sure he will find it hard to surpass the Irish tour, the only show I missed was the Sligo one, and judging by the reactions of the many who followed the whole tour this was apparantely an even better show, just how good can this guy get! An absolute legend, thanks Jan.
John Keegan

I was one of the ten die hards who travelled to all 4 of the Irish gigs and I would just like to say a couple of things.
Firstly Jan your playing started superb and just got better throughout.Whelans in Dublin was brillant, Roscommon and Sligo were magical but the heights you reached at the Newtonards guitar festival were simply nirvanic!
Such talent combined with a quiet humility is rare indeed.
I returned to Ireland from London for these dates and enjoyed the experience immensely. Thanks for the good company of Jan and Evert.
A big thankyou must also go to Lloyd for the organising and a hello to Scots Jim, Navan John, the one and only David, Jonathan (residing in Scotland...I've lost your e mail) and all the other Akkerman heads I met along the way.
I will never forget the night in ards both the gig and the jam in Strangford Arms hotel foyer. A real big thanks Jan and Evert,"country roads take me home...." Love peace and unity John.
PS David Shannon isn't on the net but he says"people talk about Hendrix, Stevie Ray or Clapton but Akkerman isn't just in a different league he's the master" Well all in the emerald isle who saw know that to be the truth.
John Craig

What a great time in Ireland!

First the music..Great atmosphere in Whelans and Firenze was outstanding. In Roscommon Wildflower was impeccable. Onto Sligo, a magical place soft lamps and candle light and Sylvia/Hocus Pocus was so magical I nearly bounced out of the chair! Belfast had me dancing to the beautiful Zebra (and Jim to!)
Some of the great moments on tour...The beautiful waterfall in Sligo...Jans phone ringing to the tune of Old Macdonald Had A Farm! Leighs face when Jan played Focus V in the hotel lobby! Jim suggesting Jan play the bagpipes in Scotland (he will to!).
So a few thank every one who came to the gigs.. Neil who nearly rewired Roscommon to get the sound right (great guy) Olivia for puting up with me, and other treats! And of course to Jan for the music, laughs, friendship, and the best Birthday present I ever had. So until the next time.
Gooud Mourning!
Lloyd Clark

Jan jamming with Samuel Eddy and local band at a pub in Sligo


Photo's Roscommon: John Craig CCI Photography.
Photo Sligo: Leigh Woolford